“If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”
Major players like Facebook, Google, and various world governments are working out the battle lines for a war over net neutrality. One thing is certain, and that is that the Internet is forever changing how individuals, families, organizations, and governments think about privacy in general, and secrets in particular.
When it comes to the Internet, preventing fraud and theft are good reasons for keeping secrets. But when it comes to intimate relationships, experts encourage open communication as the foundation for success.
Leading evidence-based relationship and marriage education programs help couples improve bonding, a combination of emotional openness and physical closeness that is the heart of intimacy. Bonding begins with the ability to be fully open and authentic with the people to whom you are closest, and that means not having to wear a mask or pretend to be one thing on the outside when inside we’re feeling something else. People need to know that they are accepted, valued, and loved for who they really are, and not just because they projected an acceptable illusion.
Almost every couple, and most single adults that have been in a failed relationship, can attest to the disharmony that dominates when one or both partners are trying to keep a secret or deliberately withholding important information. The ability to make an informed decision about a relationship is critical, and secrets deny a relationship the opportunity to deepen and mature. Secret-keepers also deny themselves the knowledge that they are truly accepted and loved.
In relationships, the benefits of open and honest communication are felt within the earliest stages of getting to know each other. Imagine a couple that initially met online where the introductions had been made through Facebook, MySpace, Match.com, eHarmony or some other social networking medium. How far would the relationship get if, at the first face-to-face meeting, it is discovered that somebody lied about their age, occupation, or some other significant issue?
Envisioning a world without secrets may ultimately require every one of us to accept the uniqueness, challenges, and miracle of our own humanity. When we want a relationship to succeed, we need to accept that idea that we are mere mortals. As works-in-progress, we are living, learning, and growing, and where the best of us may make many great choices along the way to a life fully lived, other choices may not be so great. Feeling that we need to keep those mistakes a secret out of fear of rejection by our loved ones will mean that everybody loses.
At the end of day, just remember that you don’t have to wait for Google, Facebook, and other Internet giants to regulate how you will live your life and define your relationships.
An innovative free iPhone, iPod, iPad application, PAIRS DTR, will guide you through a daily confiding exercise for conversations that matter.
Follow the five steps of the exercise, post to Facebook, send by e-mail, or, to be sure your words remain free from Googling eyes, cuddle up in person for a daily dose of bonding that will leave you refreshed, recharged, and knowing you matter.